Native Hawaiian registry kicks off at Washington Place
10:45 PM HST Jul 20, 2012
Music, emotion and the spirit of aloha filled Washington Place on Friday as members of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission began a yearlong effort to register native Hawaiians toward the creation of a future sovereign government.
Known as Kana'iolowalu, the program hopes to register 200,000 or more native Hawaiians before a self-imposed deadline of July 19, 2013.
Former two-term Hawaii Gov. John Waihee is the commissioner at-large and chairman of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.
Waihee said native Hawaiians have become somewhat fearful of the future after decisions that peeled back native Hawaiian rights.
He pointed to a 2000 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed non-Hawaiians to vote in Office of Hawaiian Affairs' elections, a 2008 decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court that said former Hawaiian monarch lands, known as ceded lands, can be sold once all claims are settled, and continuing challenges to Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-only policy as clear examples of native Hawaiian rights under attack.